Archive for 12th October 2005

No VSU in 2006 After All?

An article in Melbourne’s The Age today suggests that no form of Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) may be implemented in time for 2006 — a significant development this late in the game.

Dr Nelson confirmed to The Age that he did not expect the legislation to even reach the Senate before December, saying the Government’s industrial laws would take priority.

And Dr Nelson said even if the legislation was passed this year, he was considering delaying the introduction of the changes until 2007.

“I’m concerned that the crowded legislative agenda that we have, may make it difficult for universities to actually implement it barely a month after its passage through Parliament,” he said.

I don’t know whether to celebrate or throw my hands up in despair. Forget whether VSU will kill us or not, long before that happens the uncertainty itself is going to get to us!

Opposition education spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said Dr Nelson had been “plainly” unable to get the support of his coalition colleagues in the Senate. “The Education Minister’s delaying tactics have left staff, students and their families at Victorian universities in limbo, not knowing if their jobs and the services they rely on will exist next year,” she said.

Damn right, and it’s obviously not just Victorian universities. At COFA SA, our staff have been left in limbo for the better part of year too. With no idea if their jobs will remain if VSU is implemented but with no idea when we’ll know if VSU will be implemented, you can’t blame any of them for being so incredibly stressed. It’s been impossible for any of us to plan ahead in very meaningful ways and it’s been terrible for morale across the organisation.

If VSU isn’t implemented in time for next year, do we restructure our organisation now anyway and try to save as much money as possible (not knowing what we’re actually planning for)? Do we stick to the status quo for as long as possible? Oh who knows. If the government is trying to screw over student organisations by attrition, I daresay they’re almost succeeding.

Uni student fees plan in disarray

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